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"I'll always remember that goal
PostPosted: Wed 5:33, 27 Nov 2013

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By Andreas AlfAs the outstanding captain of the side that first took Germany to the forefront of the European game, Doris Fitschen is seen by many as the Franz Beckenbauer of 'Frauenfussball'.Sweeping successBlazing the trail that Birgit Prinz and more will be hoping to continue down this summer, the technically-gifted sweeper inspired her country to the first four of their UEFA Women's Championship triumphs and a bronze medal at the 2000 Olympic Games. First iconPerhaps even more significantly, Fritschen became the first true icon of women's football in Germany, helping her side win the kind of recognition previously the sole preserve of the men. "I had a great career and the chance to be part of the sport's development from its early stages to the first successes," she told uefa.com. "Having promoted women's football in Germany is a nice personal achievement as well. Nobody can ever take that away from me."Professional expertiseLike so many of her peers, the fierce competitor with the distinctive blonde locks had to learn the ropes competing with boys in her home town, Zeven. But by the time injury forced her to retire in 2001, Fitschen had travelled a great distance - from her own first touches of the ball [url=http://www.crownpointbeachhotel.com/test/form.php]nfl youth jerseys[/url] in the small fishing outpost to the birth of the professional game in the USA. 'Awesome experience'"The chance to play professional football in the United States was awesome," she explains. "All of a sudden, I was earning money through football and didn't have to do anything else except go to practices and play in front of 8,000 to 10,000 people every week. I was used to crowds of 500 back home!"Historic goal It was not only in her homeland that she broke new ground. As captain [url=http://www.matrixdesigns.com/aims/Inquiry.html]cincinnati bengals jerseys[/url] of the Philadelphia Charge, she scored the first-ever goal in [url=http://www.gnanananda.org/gnananda.html]cheap dallas cowboys jerseys[/url] WUSA history, a historic moment she tries to downplay with typical modesty: "I'll always remember that goal, mostly for how I scored it. It was one of my worst penalties ever, but sometimes you need a bit of luck." Trophies galoreLuck alone, however, cannot account for the three German league titles, three German Cups and one Super Cup Fitschen picked up before crossing the Atlantic. Nor was there anything in the least bit fortuitous about her record 144 international caps, or the UEFA award she received for her contribution to the sport.Fresh perspectiveShe continues to serve the game to this day, having switched to a role in marketing for the German Football Association (DFB), which has totally altered her perspective. "When I was a player, I travelled to an international match, performed for 90 minutes and went straight back home again," she said. "I never thought about what it took to organise everything. It really is hard work to get all the fans into a stadium and to get everything ready for things like broadcasting."Fingers crossedArmed with these new insights, Fitschen is confident that the forthcoming UEFA WOMEN'S EURO 2005™ in England will be a success in every possible sense, saying: "It's a country with so much experience in organising big tournaments. I'm convinced lots of spectators will attend the matches, and I'm keeping my fingers crossed that the England team will progress as far as possible." Potent cocktailNot too far, of course, as the legendary defender remains above all a fervent Germany fan. "Our current side will be going there with an excellent mix of experienced stars and young talents," she says. "I have no doubts we will be one of the teams going for the title."Farewell giftThe defending champions certainly look to have the personnel capable of competing for honours, and Fitschen reckons they will be even more motivated than usual. "The [url=http://www.wecanindia.org/affected.html]cheap washington redskins jerseys[/url] players may well have in mind that this is [national coach] Tina Theune-Meyer's last major tournament after working with the DFB for almost 20 years. I think the team will put in an extra effort to try and give her the perfect farewell gift." First ladyTheune-Meyer will deserve all the credit she receives if she can mastermind a sixth continental crown, but the women's game in Germany will never forget how much it owes to its original first lady, Doris Fitschen. Related ItemsItaly's Wembley wizardRiise's rise to gloryProgress delights great DaneWarrington welcomes EURO éliteSundhage recalls Swedish successLes Bleues primed for kick-offPichon pushes France forward


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